Documenting the American South

Doc South header logo Home
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes banner
  • Monument Name

    Joseph Morehead Monument, Guilford Courthouse

  • Type

    Statue

  • Subjects

    Historic Civic Figures

  • City

    Greensboro

  • County

    Guilford

  • Description

    The bronze statue of Morehead stands at 13' tall, towering above the viewer. Morehead stands proudly wearing a long overcoat, his left hand in his pocket. Under his coat, he wears a vest over a half-windsor tie. A hat sits atop Morehead's head; the man himself, mustached and bearded, appears to stare off into the distance.

  • Inscription

    JULY 9, 1840 – JANUARY 1, 1911 / JOSEPH M. MOREHEAD / VICE-PRESIDENT, ACTING PRESIDENT / AND SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE / GUILFORD BATTLE GROUND COMPANY

  • Custodian

    Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

  • Dedication Date

    July 4, 1913

  • Decade

    1910s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.133300 , -79.844920 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Guilford: The Only Revolutionary Battlefield Now a National Park," Greensboro Patriot Weekly (Greensboro, NC), July 7, 1909, 1-3 Link

      "Inventory Form - Guilford Courthouse National Military Park," National Register of Historic Places, (accessed February 6, 2012) Link

      "Patriots Today Will Gather on Historic Grounds of Battle," Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, NC), July 4, 1913 Link

      Baker, Thomas E. and Michael H. White. The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, North Carolina, (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Courthouse NMP, 1991)

      “Fourth of July at Guilford Battle Ground,” The Twin-City Sentinel (Winston-Salem, NC), June 9, 1913

      “Great Celebration Is Planned for 1913,” Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, NC), June 13, 1912

      “Joseph M. Morehead,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed April 12, 2018) Link

      “Monument to Major Morehead,” The Western Sentinel (Winston-Salem, NC), May 16, 1912

      “Self Government Principles Again,” News And Observer (Raleigh, NC), July 6, 1913

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, granite

  • Sponsors

    NC Daughters of the American Revolution

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The dedication ceremony took place in the rain with Governor Locke Craig as the featured orator. During his remarks the governor praised the return to “local self-government” saying that after the Civil War the state had “been forced to abandon [that] principle… for the reason that a mass of ignorant voters was injected into the body politic.” This ability to again self-govern was apparently a reference to the 1900 constitutional amendment that disfranchised poor white and African-American voters. R.D.W. Conner, Secretary of the State Historical Society, spoke as did Col. James T. Morehead and Rev. W.E. Abernathy. Mrs. Edwin Overman, chair of the D.A.R. monument fund placed a wreath representing the D.A.R. spinning wheel and distaff and read poem to Morehead.

  • Subject Notes

    Joseph Motley Morehead was born in 1840. He was a Confederate officer and lawyer in Greensboro, N.C. He also served for a time as president of the Guilford Battleground Company.

    The statue was reported to be in place for dedication in 1912 and said to be a “perfect likeness.” The 1912 celebration was later canceled though, “for among other reasons to get the Morehead statue ready” and then dedicate it with the General Nathaniel Greene statue. Those plans also went awry as the Greene statue was not ready until 1915.

  • Controversies

    At one point the statue was removed due to vandalism. It has since been replaced, though its location has been changed.

  • Location

    The statue is located in Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, on the auto tour at stop 8. It stands about .2 miles from Old Battleground Road, in a row of monuments, including David Schenck, George Reynolds, and Edward Stevens memorials.

  • Landscape

    The statue is surrounded by mature trees of the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.

  • Former Locations

    The statue used to stand near the old New Garden Road in 1937, where it had been in a row of monuments.

Know anything else about this monument that isn't mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.